I've had a surprising number of people tell me recently that February is the month they hate the most -- surprising, I guess, because it seems wasteful to spend that much angst on the month that occupies the fewest days out of the year. On the other hand, though, I guess I can see where they're coming from: It's always cold; the weather sucks; it's got Valentine's Day plopped right in the middle of it, which, even for people in relationships, is one of the more insufferable holidays; and hanging over our heads is the constant reminder that the Powers That Be picked the shortest month of the year for Black History Month, which is just some incredibly racist shit.
But if you keep an open mind, you can find some stuff to like about February other than the fact that it'll be over with quicker than any of the other months. You actually don't have to look too hard, either; I didn't, and I still managed to come up with this week's +5, Five Things To Look Forward To In February. You can start off by congratulating yourself that you made it through January, which really sucked. But anyway:
The Super Bowl (this Sunday)
It's always bittersweet when actual football finally comes to an end. And as a fan myself, I find it especially cruel that the Super Bowl comes so soon on the heels of National Signing Day, a reminder of the kind of stupid bullshit that we're all supposed to go bananas over if we're going to make it through the offseason. But if the season's gotta end, it might as well do so with a bang. And this year's Big One promises to be one of the better games we've had in quite a while; hopefully the ads will be, too, because they've kind of stunk the past few years. But either way, it's still a chance for nuts like myself to get together with fellow fans, raise our glasses to the greatest sport in human history, and place a prop bet on something incredibly stupid like whether the national anthem will last longer than two minutes.
The 2012 Winter Olympics (February 12-28)
I can sort of sympathize with Kyle King here: The Winter Olympics isn't football. But if you're willing to look past that, it's a lot of other things that are good in their own way -- bobsledding, hockey, people sledding downhill face-first at 80 miles an hour, American athletes flexing nuts at a whole host of different sports, and people from all over the world coming together for purposes other than blowing each other up, which is an unfortunately rare thing these days. And even if there's absolutely nothing else on the schedule that interests you -- not even a bunch of people saying "aboot" -- you can always tune in on the evening of Sunday the 21st to stare at Tanith Belbin (above), medal-winning ice dancer and absolute hottest skater ever. I'm just planting seeds here.
Carnaval (February 13-16)
As for the 2016 Olympics, if you're still fuming over Chicago getting snubbed in favor of Rio de Janeiro, consider: Here's what's going on in Chicago right now, while in Rio they're downing caipirinhas and watching women parade down the streets in costumes like the one above. Nothing against Mardi Gras, but Carnaval is maybe the biggest and best party anywhere on the globe -- it's like Mardi Gras, but on steroids, and instead of girls flashing their boobs for beads, the dancers and "samba queens" start out with barely a stitch on, as a matter of course. Eliminating the middleman, like, which is the kind of efficiency we could all learn a lesson from. One of these days I'm going to save up the money to fly down there, with my biggest worry (besides getting mugged) being that I might not come back. (In the meantime, though, perhaps one of you who isn't at work right now can click here and explain the physics of this to me.)
Presidents' Day (February 15)
Woo, federal holiday! Which means some of you get the day off! For those of you who don't, well, I don't know what to tell you. Being unemployed, pretty much every day is a day off for me.
"Cop Out" (February 26)
Yes, I know: This movie's probably going to be retarded. But it's directed by Kevin Smith, and has Tracy Morgan being, well, Tracy Morgan for a couple hours, so by the end of February I am almost certain I'll be able to turn my brain off for long enough to enjoy it. Besides, this being a notoriously slow time of year for movies, what else are you gonna watch besides this and maybe the Scorsese movie that's coming out? "Valentine's Day"? "The Wolfman"? I think Spencer Hall had the right idea about that last one.
There, see? You now have an itinerary. Don't say I never gave you anything. And now, the Ten:
1. A Tribe Called Quest, "Award Tour"
2. U2, "Gone"
3. Elbow, "Flying Dream"
4. The Chemical Brothers, "The Private Psychedelic Reel"
5. Moby, "Oil 1"
6. The Strokes, "Last Night"
7. The Supremes, "Reflections"
8. Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, "It Takes Two"
9. U2, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (Live from Sarajevo)
10. Pet Shop Boys, "Yesterday, When I Was Mad" (Coconut 1 12" mix)
Your own Random Tens and things you're looking forward to this month -- or, alternatively, reasons you'll be ready to jump out in front of a bus before the 28th rolls around -- are welcome in the comments.